Newport (Shropshire) Royal Naval Association

Greetings everyone.  A much happier report from our RNA.  All goes well, we’re almost back to our normal opening routines and holding a quite reasonable bank balance.  We still have to negotiate a new lease towards the end of next year (2022).  Latest conversation with the Landlord suggests that he’s much more amicable to supporting us than selling.  Sighs of relief all round but the target is moving, no time to relax.

The offer remains wide open folks, if you’re in the Newport area for a few days make sure you find out what’s going on at the Newport Navy Club, that’s the Facebook tag for us.  We’ve been doing Vets Breakfasts for a few months now, they are getting popular.  Hosting the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening has been a pleasure.  We’re running Open Mic every Tuesday night and our Club night is Saturday, live music and dancing till you drop.

All the best to all our RNPA members.

Pete Bunting

01952 813193

07850 462575

The RNA in Newport

Hello Everyone.

Good news about the RNA in Newport.  I’m very pleased to say that we are still in business, we have our heads above water and the members are coming back.  We have signed up to the the Armed Forces Covenant. That makes us a lot more able to help our members and others with a much longer reach than we had before.  One of our members contracted MND, we now have him under the direct care of specialists.  All with the support of the Covenant.

For those of you attended the reunion in Telford, the RNA Club held a function for the reunion, you know where the club is, it hasn’t moved, we’d love to see you back here.  There’s also a standing invitation to any member of the RNPA to visit the Club if you’re in our area.  Newport is in Shropshire, not too far from RAF Cosford.

Pete Bunting (Ex CPOA (Phot)

Steve Potten – Obituary

Former RNPA member Steve Potten died of pneumonia and other medical complications on Friday 29th of January in Maidstone Hospital, Kent.

Steve, 82, who lived in Snodland, Kent, had been in poor health for most of the past two years.

He joined the Navy in 1956 aged 17, and served for nine and half years. He was a member of No 24 Phot II’s Qualifying Course which included Tony Parsonage, Gordon van Dyke and Ray ‘Scouse’ Marshall under instructor PO David ‘Taff’ Eyres.

Steve was a popular member of the phot section team for the first commission on the newly launched HMS Victorious which, following her seven year £20M rebuild, made her the most upto date aircraft carrier in the world.

After leaving the navy Steve freelanced as a wedding photographer and supplemented his income working in bars before, with partner Cliff Kent, creating a highly successful photographic business operating from the Hackney area of London. A prestigious client list included American multi-national company Estee Lauder.

Steve is survived by wife Linda and her three children from a previous marriage, Nichola, Karen and James, who Steve adopted as youngsters.

The funeral will take place at 10.20 on Wednesday, 3rd March  at Medway Crematorium, Chatham.

A more detailed obituary featuring Steve’s navy career will appear in a future edition of the RNPA Newsletter.

Steve is pictured top right with fellow photographers from HMS Victorious, who were meeting up to attend the final Royal
Tournament at Earl’s Court in 1999. They are Bill Porter, top left, Nigel Craft and Steve.…and lower left, Ray Pogson and Pete Thorne on the right.

Sadly, Pete died in 2018 and Bill left us in 2020.


Thurl Craft – Obituary

Nigel and Thurl CraftA love story that started with a blind date and endured 61 years of marriage finally drew to a close with a funeral service which had more than a touch of military precision.

For Thurl Craft, aged 81, wife of RNPA member Nigel Craft, used her army background to ensure every aspect of her death from an aggressive form of cancer, and her funeral, was just as she wanted it.

“Thurl was a very organised person during her life, and she remained so right up to the end.” said Nigel. “She wrote the Order of Service, choosing the hymns, music and readings. She even discussed with our daughters how she should be dressed. But above all she wanted to ensure we remained a stable and functioning family after her passing.”

Nigel first met Thurl when fellow photographer Ian ‘Soapy’ Watson, invited him on a run-ashore to Guildford’s Queen Elizabeth Army Barracks, where ‘Soapy’ had arranged to meet a WRAC from his home town of Liverpool. At the time the two naval airmen were serving on Portsmouth-based HMS Victorious during the carrier’s first commission following its seven-year rebuild.

“I met Thurl that night and that was it… but there was a problem,” said Nigel. “She planned to serve with the WRAC for three years and then leave the UK for Australia, but I begged her not to go.”

The couple were married on 27th June 1959 in Thurl’s home town of Melton, Suffolk, and they subsequently had three children, daughter Christina, son Richard who tragically died in 2007 aged 46, and Angela, born in Malta while Nigel was serving at RNAS Hal Far. The extended family includes nine grandchildren and a further nine great grandchildren.

“Thurl was an avid reader with broad interests, and she always had two or three books on the go at any one time,” said Nigel. “She taught all the kids and grandchildren to read, and enjoyed introducing them to literature.”

The funeral took place at St John The Baptist Church, Felixstowe, on Friday, 24th July 2020,  followed by interment at Felixstowe Cemetery. Only close family attended due to Covid-19 restrictions.


Paul Wellings BEM

We were informed at the end of September 2020 that one of our colleagues, Paul Wellings, crossed the bar on 28th September.

Some time ago Paul was diagnosed with cancer and despite putting up the best of fights against this insidious disease he wasn’t able to pull through.

Paul’s funeral was attended by several of his close friends, Roger Forbes, Bob Stanyard, Vince Richards and Stuart ‘Slinger’ Wood. Our secretary, Ian Hooper also made the journey down to Plymouth from his home in Staffordshire to say his goodbyes.

The newsletter sent out by Hilary King this month reported Paul’s passing with a lovely piece on his life by Steve Dargan.

Paul has received many tributes his life and he will be missed by his many friends and his family. RIP



Olga’s Prize winning garden!

We’ve put a piece on the website about David Price’s wife Olga, and her prize winning garden.

To read more about Olga’s achievement go to the ‘Swing The Lamp’ tab on the main menu bar, or CLICK HERE. You’ll find pictures of her award winning garden. Thanks to David and Olga for submitting the photographs, and to Ray Pogson for providing the write-up for us all on Olga’s lovely garden.

All that remains of for all of us to be inspired by the results and get out in our own gardens to emulate her!

Next Reunion Date – October 2021

Because of Covid-19 we’ve had to cancel this year’s reunion planned for October. With luck and fairwind we’re hoping to go to Edinburgh in October 2021.

However the committee are now discussing the possibility of a one-day event, once we know what’s happening with this pandemic. Holding any event won’t be easy and we’re sure that members will understand that. Above everything we have to put health as the first priority but if it’s possible we are going to try to arrange a get together of some sort. When we have more news we will post it here and send members an email message.

When we have more news on the 2021 main reunion we will bring all members up to date on the planning as soon as we can.

RNPA Visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth

Pictured: Royal Navy Photography Association on board HMS Queen Elizabeth for the RN Phot 100.
Royal Navy Photography Association on board HMS Queen Elizabeth
The Royal Navy Photography Association visited HMS Queen Elizabeth for a tour and to celebrate the 100 years of the Photographic Branch in the Royal Navy.

Kneeling: Danny Du Feu and Ray Whitehouse

Front row: Tony Darbyshire, Paul Parrack, Geoff Holland, Julie Richardson, Joan, Hilary King (just behind Joan), Sue Parrack, Pam Whitehouse, Helen Holland, Jean Keeling, Linda Warren, Pauline with Bob Stanyard, Stuart Warren and Martin (ex Merchant Navy)

Behind them: Mervyn Ellis, Ray Pogson, Tina Du Feu, Andrea, Steve King, Mike Keeling, John Flack, Roy (brother of Joan) and John Siviter tucked in behind Bob S.

Plymouth Reunion – October 2018

The Association had a wonderful reunion down in Gus over the weekend of Friday 12th to Sunday 14th October. The two pictures were taken by Danny Du Feu as we left the boat on the Sunday afternoon after a great three hours around Plymouth Sound and the Dockyard areas. Lovely food, lots of laughter and great company!

This picture was taken when we left the boat at the end of ‘three hours’ of ‘sea time!’

Boat trip Plymouth Sound

Those who went on the boat trip around Plymouth Sound and the Dockyard as we left to return to our hotel.

Boat trip Plymouth Sound

Photograph of members who on the upper deck of the boat.

Peregrine Trophy Gallery

Lots of photographs on this page…

See them by clicking on the link, or go to the menu bar and click on Peregrine Trophy Awards and move down to 2016 Gallery.

You can enlarge them too by clicking on the bottom right corner icon.

Peregrine Trophy Awards – On board HMS Bulwark – 7 June 2016,

A group of our members attended the Peregrine Trophy Awards. Photographs can be found from the main menu bar…i.e. Peregrine Trophy Awards.

Those attending were: Paul and Sue Parrack, Ray and Pam Whitehouse, Jan and Doreen Larcombe, Brian Jackson, Pete and Bridget Bunting, Val and Tony Darbyshire, Paul and Sheila Hopley, Mike and Jean Keeling and Steve and Hilary King.

Update to the RNPA website (16 November 2015)

The website has been updated as of this date;

The changes are:

The reunion over the second weekend in October 2015 at the Royal Historic Dockyard in Chatham has now become a ‘past social event’. By clicking on ‘Social Events’ on the main menu bar there is now a link to this event to reflect that it’s now history!

Other changes include the update on the Planned Social Events page which now gives brief details of what is being planned for our next reunion over the weekend of 30th Sept. to 2nd October 2016. Not a lot of content there at the moment but Ray intends to give out more details during the first quarter of 2016.

Also, the photographs on the home page for ‘Social Events’, ‘Personal Details’ and Days Gone By’ have been changed.

Finally, a new gallery of photographs taken over the Chatham reunion weekend has been added. Just click on the ‘Gallery’ tab on the main menu bar, scroll down and you will find the new pictures. website…

On the left hand side bar in the Royal Navy links we’ve added a link to the website.

Membership of their Association costs £12.50pa or £90 for a ten year subscription.